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The Courage To Change What You Can

Aug 18, 2007
Often times we find that we are unhappy with certain aspects of our lives, our selves, our work, or other things. Most people will be unhappy with these things, but will never change them. Why? Because change can be an extremely hard thing to try and consciously make happen. Finding the courage to do so can be scary, and a lot of the time, people would rather remain the same than face the frightening prospect of change.

People are habitual, and coming out of our comfort zone to change those habits can make us feel vulnerable or scared, and this is perfectly normal. Being scared is just a part of the process of change, however, facing something and dealing with it in spite of the fear is the very definition of courage.

Why are you seeking change?

Are you unhappy in your current situation? Are there habits that you need to change? For these questions, it becomes necessary to step back and look at ourselves. We have to be our own critic. Take a good, long look at yourself and ask a few questions. It can be difficult to ask these questions, and sometimes we would rather look at the surface of the water than stir it up with a stick and see what's really in there.

However, this is something we must do if we want to be truly happy. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
Am I happy with the way things are?
If I could change something about my life, what would I change?
In what areas do I feel as though I need to grow?

If you have answered these questions, and feel you truly need a change, you have accomplished a truly difficult thing. It can be hard to admit that we need to change, and when we know that we do, our battle is already half over. The next step is just to decide what to do about it.

Think of your life as a flower bed. You can grow some really beautiful and breathtaking flowers in your life, but you must be willing to pull out the weeds, water the dry areas, and face the sun. When you are willing to do the work it takes to change your life, you will be rewarded with a garden of colorful flowers.

What you can change and what you can't.

There are things in our lives that we simply can't change. For these things, dealing with them can sometimes be harder than changing ourselves, because we have to learn to accept them. Accepting things that we aren't necessarily happy with can be difficult. It will probably frustrate you or make you angry, however, there is a need to accept the things that we cannot change. Often times, things will happen which are beyond our control, and as much as we want to fix it or change it, we just can't. This is when we see what we are made of. To indulge in self-pity is to admit defeat.

Let's look at things this way. There's a big storm outside. It's raining, the wind is blowing, and the thunder and lightening are ferocious. What if a huge limb falls on the roof and gouges a hole? Your roof starts leaking, and water is dripping onto the floor. Now, you didn't choose for the limb to knock a hole in your roof, and you can't go back and change it. Are you going to lay there on the floor and scream about the hole, or are you going to put a bucket under the hole to catch the rain? Are you going to live with that bucket in the middle of the floor, or are you going to wait the rain out, and get up there and repair that roof?

You can't change what has happened, but you can do what you must and go on. This is accepting what you can't change. You could have laid there on the floor and screamed, but you didn't, or at least not for very long. You got up and did what had to be done.

This is what accepting is all about. It's not an easy thing to do, but it can be done. Granted, the things that you often must accept in your life are a lot more important than a leaking roof, but the idea is the same. You pick yourself up, do what you have to do, accept it and go on. You do have to courage and the power to do this. You just have to reach down deep and pull it up out of yourself.

Finding the courage to change.

Finding the courage to change what you must is a hard thing to do. Most of the time the things that we need to change have strong emotions tied to them. It will probably hurt, and it might make you angry, but nevertheless, if you want to change, you have to dive in and do it. This can be made easier with some kind of support system.
Friends, family, a group or organization. Everyone needs support, and talking with people about your issues can make you feel a whole lot better. You may even find someone who has been through the same thing. Talking with someone who has been there can make things easier. You can see first hand people who have had to find the courage themselves to change things. They may even be able to offer advice or tell you something that will help you out.

When we endeavor into new things, no matter what they might be, it will be easier if we have someone there to talk to, someone who understands or who is just willing to listen. Try finding a support group related to your problems. This can sometimes be even more helpful than friends or family, because the people in the group will have an outside view. They will be concerned with what is best for you, and won't be influenced by inside issues. Finding the courage to change is hard, but you can do it.

The rewards of changing.

As humans, we must have the power to make things in our lives grow, to find new things to grow, and to be able to destroy the things that aren't growing. It's just a part of life. Think about it like this. A plant will waste energy giving life to a dead stem or flower. This energy goes nowhere, because the flower is already dead, and it's not coming back. However, when we pull off the dead flower or stem, the plant won't send nutrients and energy there, it will focus on the living parts. The plant will flourish because the energy is focused in the right areas. It's like this for humans too.

If we change what we don't want, although it is hard, we will flourish. You will be happier, with the stagnant things in your life gone, the bad habits gone, and the change completed. You will be stronger, and you will know that you do have what it takes to make yourself a happier life. You will have accomplished something difficult, and you will be proud. There are rewards to changing, although we may not see them right away. They are there, however, and they are easier to see after we have changed for the better.

This is a hard thing to look at, to accomplish, and to take on. But you can do it. You have the power to create a better, happier you, and you can rely on yourself. No one else has the power, or the comittment to do it for you. Decide what you want, accept what can't be changed, and change what can for the better. Grow those beautiful flowers. Good Luck!
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of My-Personal-Growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.
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